Nintendo's new, but relatively late WiiWare game distribution channel has a bit of a drawback for low.. make that really low-budget developers. WiiWare developers are required to spend $2,500 US for getting an ESRB rating for their games.
Well you got to get it rated and plus if it is indeed a garage/indie developer you would hope they have something to shell out if indeed they do want to make it into the world of gaming. 2500 seems like a small price to pay in order for your name to be known. Along with the fact that there is no free ride in the world I do think this is an alrigth price to pay to get your game put out for you.
I just hope this cost doesn't scare away indie devs from releasing their games in the US and Canada, which is under the ESRB's jurisdiction. Is $2,500 comparable to what other ratings boards around the world charge?
$2500 is more than twice the budget of some of those games. I hope this doesn't stop good indie developers.
Not really, a friend of mine is saving up for $6k Indi game. He said doing the same on the 360 or PS3 is like buying a luxury car. $5-10k is do-able for most developers. $40-75k isn't.
"All our SDKs and dev tools are already–I don’t want to call them inexpensive–they’re darn near free to developers. This is unlike our competitors, where you have to spend a lot of money building high-res assets to be competitive." You mean unlike XNA, which costs $100 and runs on a commecial Xbox 360? Slight oversight, maybe. And how does this compare to other development situations- do XNA games have to pay for their ratings, for example?
Well right now the only way to play xna games is to be a $100 member. Not sure if they pay to get it rated but right now it's not very accessible to the people. User generated content is a new world for all consoles so all these are baby steps for the most part. We should be happy that both MS and Nintendo are helping people make games.
the last time I checked, a development kit for the Wii was around $2,000. Add this to the $2,500 ESRB cost and an indie developer is going to spend around $5,000 just to get started. After that, and if they don't have these items they'll need, around 4 high-end computers for graphics, music, programming, editing, etc. which could run about $2,500 each. I think this budget is still a very small price to pay to get into the development community. I've been looking into it for a while now and I'm getting very anxious to geet started.
That's a 42000% increase in development costs on regular Wii games! How will indie Wii games cope?
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